Christian of Troyes
Its source of inspiration is in the Celtic tradition and the Breton legends (matter of Brittany). But it confers a new Christian dimension to them, strongly impregnated by the Chansons de geste in language of oil of second half of XIIe century. The secrecy of its art lies in its capacity to operate, according to its own words, good the conjointure , i.e. the alloy learnedly proportioned between the matter and the direction. Regarded as one of the first authors of courteous|tales of chivalry
Works and inspirations
Its principal work is that of the novels of the roundtable with for representative king Arthur. This character, a priori principal, is however not in the center of the searches which Chrétien of Troyes invents. Contrary, one finds there knights unknown like Yvain or Lancelot, whose policy resides in the courtesy. The base of its novels is very often the implicit search of the character towards the recognition and the discovery of oneself, like worms the discovery of the others, with the image of one integration at the court and of the love of the Guenièvre queen. Contrary to the chanson de geste, whose topic is patriotic (history of Charlemagne per Roland for example) and whose search is known as " collective" , the novel of the 13th century proposes a personal search of the knight, quasi-close friend.
The court of king Arthur is a fixed place in all the novels of Christian of Troyes. The latter is of course imagined by the author, who bases himself on Celtic and Anglo-Norman popular beliefs. The court is an ideal benchmark for the novels of the roundtable, it is the place of plenitude where the good life and the goods in abundance reign. The adventures of the roundtable find their source of existence in the woman, in the loved being. One can think that these works opened with the literature the world Love with a large A. Chrétien of Troyes opposes already this Love to the Reason, and it is this symbol (rather than sign) which will mark the French literature durably. If the topic of the courtesy will disappear little by little from the literary history, with the wire of the advance of popular manners; the topic of the love, him, will be anchored to it very deeply.
- Tristan and Iseult (lost);
- Érec and Énide , towards 1170;
- Cligès , towards 1176;
- Lancelot or the Knight of the cart , novel of Lancelot, towards 1175 - 1181 (unfinished);
- Yvain or the Knight with the lion , novel of Yvain, about 1175-1181;
- Perceval or the Novel of Romance Graal or of Perceval , towards 1182 - 1190 (unfinished).
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